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    Do any of you have any stories of encouragement to keep me going?

    I've had depression for three years now and the reasons why seem trival, but I can't get over it.

    It seems I will never get better.
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    (Original post by sunfowers01)
    Do any of you have any stories of encouragement to keep me going?

    I've had depression for three years now and the reasons why seem trival, but I can't get over it.

    It seems I will never get better.
    This is long but you asked for a story and this is mine:

    I've had Depression for about ten years since my father died. Over the years other life events have contributed to my despair such as losing my step father to Cancer, being attacked in the street and hospitalised twice and a relationship breakdown.

    I always tried to deal with things myself. I used alcohol as a crutch for a long time and would regularly binge drink. I also went through OCD phases were I would obsessively clean things or throw things out. I also had this as a kid after I watched my best friend get hit by a car and killed.

    After I was attacked the second time I became extremely paranoid and lived my life in fear on a daily basis (I wore a bullet proof vest for stab protection every time I left the house.) I couldn't continue living like that so I bought a self-defence book which taught me how I could have avoided being attacked both times had I been more steetwise and it literally prevented me from being attacked again.

    I bought a book on overcoming fear by the same author (Fear-the friend of exceptional people' by Geoff Thompson) and that book changed my life and transformed it on every single level. I understood fear for the first time in my life and realised it was a natural feeling designed to keep us alive and that I wasn't a coward for feeling fear. The book taught me how to overcome fear through exposure therapy and I overcame my fear of heights by climbing the top mast on a moving shop, doing a 14,000ft tandem skydive, abseiling 150ft down the Mersey Tunnel Ventilation Shaft and climbing the 3 biggest mountains in the UK (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon.)

    Overcoming my fears gave me a lot of confidence which inspired me to overcome a lot of my other fears. I did the Prince's Trust 12 week self-development course when I left school and it took me from being a really shy person to having confidence and self-esteem for the first time in my life.

    I was always grateful for the positive impact the course had on my life and I wrote a letter to Prince Charles on several occasions thanking him but I kept binning the letter thinking 'why would he want to hear about me? he will never reply in a million years, he will probably never even read it.' In the end I just decided to send it and about a week later I got a reply from his secretary thanking me for the letter and saying they would tell him about it. I was absolutely thrilled with that reponse as I expected nothing and then about a week after that I got a personal letter from Prince Charles which just blew me away. It made me realise how my negative thinking had been holding me back.

    My confidence grew ten fold then and I contacted Fiona Phillips at the Daily Mirror and she wrote an article about me. This led to me having the opportunity to write an article for the Metro Newspaper (both articles can be read online) and I wrote the article on overcoming fear based on my own experiences and interviewed Geoff Thompson for it, the author whose book had changed my life. I was also on Jo Whiley's Radio One Show.

    Having read a couple of Geoff Thompson's books I discovered his website and that was another big turning point for me. Geoff posts free inspirational articles on his website and I literally read every one back to back within 2-3 days. I began to realise the benefit of reading inspirational stuff and self-help books as it inspired me to do a lot of positive things in my own life. (Prime example is reading Ultramarathon man by Dean Karnazes-it inspired me to run my first marathon.)

    Although I was doing a lot of positive things with my life and achieving good things, I still always had an underlying depression and I was still binge drinking. I wasn't dealing with the root causes of the depression, I was fighting the symptoms of the depression rather than the causes so it never went away.

    Things got really bad the back end of last year and the beginning of this year and I became really suicidal. I went to my doctor and was prescribed anti-depressants which I am currently on and I was referred for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy however I was discharged after 3 sessions as my therapist said she could no longer help me as I had already dealt with a lot of the issues myself on a self-help basis.

    I stopped drinking which made a massive difference as alcohol is a depressant and that has improved my physical, mental and financial health. I've been drunk once this year and that was a mistake. I know what triggered me to drink and it just confirmed to me that I never want to drink again as it made me feel so bad. I figured a lot of my Depression was due to social isolation and my life being empty. I cut myself off from the world, I took myself off Facebook and Twitter, lost a lot of friends and acquaintances and just never interacted with anyone and that made me worse.

    So in January I joined a running club which I attended twice a week which allowed me to meet new people and kept me active and I also joined a dance school where I take lessons every Sunday night and again that allows me to meet new people and just get myself out of the house. I attended a wellbeing event last year and the 5 steps to wellbeing are connecting with others, being active, learning something new, taking notice and giving.

    I was training six days a week and the exercise releases endorphines into the body which gives you a natural high however I've had a running injury for a few weeks so I've not been running club for a while and I'm only training three days per week at the minute.

    I'm taking more 'me' time now, I've been to 4 ballet shows this year and I've just bought an annual pass for the cinema so I can go whenever I want.

    I'm smiling at strangers in the street, I'm interacting more with people in work and I make small talk with strangers at bus stops or shop assistants in stores. I set myself goals on a daily basis and at the end of each calendar month I review the month in term of the goals I achieved and the things I'm happy with and I set new goals for the next month.

    I no longer watch the news or read the newspapers as they are negative and junk food for the brain. I have a list of inspiring quotes which I read every morning and I read my goals every morning. I read inspiring books and listen to inspiring podcasts all the time and watch inspiring films.

    I'm trying to cut the CRAP out of my diet (Caffeine-releases Cortisol the stress hormone into the body) refined sugar (I'm addicted to chocolate at the minute and it gives me massive sugar crashes which make me feel terrible), alcohol and processed food.

    I'm working on every single aspect of my life, my physical, mental and emotional health. I'm trying to live my life true to my values and to do things that I want to do and that make me happy. In the past I think I did a lot of things out of insecurity and the need for validation e.g. climbing mountains and doing big ostentatious things like that. I realised I need to work on the inner game and focus on improving myself. If you get the inner game right, everything else will fall into place. Gandhi said if you want to change the world you need to change yourself.

    I was depressed for so long that I actually forgot what it feels like to be normal. I'm so much happier now and I have a clarity of thought that I haven't had for years. The fact I'm smiling at people is testament to the changes in me because I never smiled at anyone, ever. I've by no means conquered depression, I still have a lot of work to do and I'm still making mistakes (got drunk the other week, my diet is still poor) but I'm learning from my mistakes and I'm working very hard to beat it this year. I've sought professional help and I'm also doing a lot of things pro-actively on a self-help basis.
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    (Original post by advent2)
    This is long but you asked for a story and this is mine:

    I've had Depression for about ten years since my father died. Over the years other life events have contributed to my despair such as losing my step father to Cancer, being attacked in the street and hospitalised twice and a relationship breakdown.

    I always tried to deal with things myself. I used alcohol as a crutch for a long time and would regularly binge drink. I also went through OCD phases were I would obsessively clean things or throw things out. I also had this as a kid after I watched my best friend get hit by a car and killed.

    After I was attacked the second time I became extremely paranoid and lived my life in fear on a daily basis (I wore a bullet proof vest for stab protection every time I left the house.) I couldn't continue living like that so I bought a self-defence book which taught me how I could have avoided being attacked both times had I been more steetwise and it literally prevented me from being attacked again.

    I bought a book on overcoming fear by the same author (Fear-the friend of exceptional people' by Geoff Thompson) and that book changed my life and transformed it on every single level. I understood fear for the first time in my life and realised it was a natural feeling designed to keep us alive and that I wasn't a coward for feeling fear. The book taught me how to overcome fear through exposure therapy and I overcame my fear of heights by climbing the top mast on a moving shop, doing a 14,000ft tandem skydive, abseiling 150ft down the Mersey Tunnel Ventilation Shaft and climbing the 3 biggest mountains in the UK (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon.)

    Overcoming my fears gave me a lot of confidence which inspired me to overcome a lot of my other fears. I did the Prince's Trust 12 week self-development course when I left school and it took me from being a really shy person to having confidence and self-esteem for the first time in my life.

    I was always grateful for the positive impact the course had on my life and I wrote a letter to Prince Charles on several occasions thanking him but I kept binning the letter thinking 'why would he want to hear about me? he will never reply in a million years, he will probably never even read it.' In the end I just decided to send it and about a week later I got a reply from his secretary thanking me for the letter and saying they would tell him about it. I was absolutely thrilled with that reponse as I expected nothing and then about a week after that I got a personal letter from Prince Charles which just blew me away. It made me realise how my negative thinking had been holding me back.

    My confidence grew ten fold then and I contacted Fiona Phillips at the Daily Mirror and she wrote an article about me. This led to me having the opportunity to write an article for the Metro Newspaper (both articles can be read online) and I wrote the article on overcoming fear based on my own experiences and interviewed Geoff Thompson for it, the author whose book had changed my life. I was also on Jo Whiley's Radio One Show.

    Having read a couple of Geoff Thompson's books I discovered his website and that was another big turning point for me. Geoff posts free inspirational articles on his website and I literally read every one back to back within 2-3 days. I began to realise the benefit of reading inspirational stuff and self-help books as it inspired me to do a lot of positive things in my own life. (Prime example is reading Ultramarathon man by Dean Karnazes-it inspired me to run my first marathon.)

    Although I was doing a lot of positive things with my life and achieving good things, I still always had an underlying depression and I was still binge drinking. I wasn't dealing with the root causes of the depression, I was fighting the symptoms of the depression rather than the causes so it never went away.

    Things got really bad the back end of last year and the beginning of this year and I became really suicidal. I went to my doctor and was prescribed anti-depressants which I am currently on and I was referred for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy however I was discharged after 3 sessions as my therapist said she could no longer help me as I had already dealt with a lot of the issues myself on a self-help basis.

    I stopped drinking which made a massive difference as alcohol is a depressant and that has improved my physical, mental and financial health. I've been drunk once this year and that was a mistake. I know what triggered me to drink and it just confirmed to me that I never want to drink again as it made me feel so bad. I figured a lot of my Depression was due to social isolation and my life being empty. I cut myself off from the world, I took myself off Facebook and Twitter, lost a lot of friends and acquaintances and just never interacted with anyone and that made me worse.

    So in January I joined a running club which I attended twice a week which allowed me to meet new people and kept me active and I also joined a dance school where I take lessons every Sunday night and again that allows me to meet new people and just get myself out of the house. I attended a wellbeing event last year and the 5 steps to wellbeing are connecting with others, being active, learning something new, taking notice and giving.

    I was training six days a week and the exercise releases endorphines into the body which gives you a natural high however I've had a running injury for a few weeks so I've not been running club for a while and I'm only training three days per week at the minute.

    I'm taking more 'me' time now, I've been to 4 ballet shows this year and I've just bought an annual pass for the cinema so I can go whenever I want.

    I'm smiling at strangers in the street, I'm interacting more with people in work and I make small talk with strangers at bus stops or shop assistants in stores. I set myself goals on a daily basis and at the end of each calendar month I review the month in term of the goals I achieved and the things I'm happy with and I set new goals for the next month.

    I no longer watch the news or read the newspapers as they are negative and junk food for the brain. I have a list of inspiring quotes which I read every morning and I read my goals every morning. I read inspiring books and listen to inspiring podcasts all the time and watch inspiring films.

    I'm trying to cut the CRAP out of my diet (Caffeine-releases Cortisol the stress hormone into the body) refined sugar (I'm addicted to chocolate at the minute and it gives me massive sugar crashes which make me feel terrible), alcohol and processed food.

    I'm working on every single aspect of my life, my physical, mental and emotional health. I'm trying to live my life true to my values and to do things that I want to do and that make me happy. In the past I think I did a lot of things out of insecurity and the need for validation e.g. climbing mountains and doing big ostentatious things like that. I realised I need to work on the inner game and focus on improving myself. If you get the inner game right, everything else will fall into place. Gandhi said if you want to change the world you need to change yourself.

    I was depressed for so long that I actually forgot what it feels like to be normal. I'm so much happier now and I have a clarity of thought that I haven't had for years. The fact I'm smiling at people is testament to the changes in me because I never smiled at anyone, ever. I've by no means conquered depression, I still have a lot of work to do and I'm still making mistakes (got drunk the other week, my diet is still poor) but I'm learning from my mistakes and I'm working very hard to beat it this year. I've sought professional help and I'm also doing a lot of things pro-actively on a self-help basis.

    Thanks very much for this. It shows there is light at the end of the tunnel.



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    (Original post by sunfowers01)
    Do any of you have any stories of encouragement to keep me going?

    I've had depression for three years now and the reasons why seem trival, but I can't get over it.

    It seems I will never get better.
    There's no such thing as a trivial reason for depression; I've been told and I've told myself so many times before that I 'should' be happy, because I'm smart and not in poverty and not dying, but of all the people I've known with mental health problems, none of them have ever had a single big reason for it. And just because something that makes you depressed might not make someone else depressed doesn't mean you're weak or less able to deal with life. Everyone has the ability to become depressed, it's just that some people never encounter the factors that would set it off for them. With you, all your small and seemingly silly reasons for it happened to stack up in exactly the way that means you got depression. Unlucky. But not your fault, not a reflection on you as a person, and definitely not something that you can't get through.

    Fun storytime; pretty much exactly this time last year I was wandering about having just been discharged from hospital after an attempt at an overdose.

    I've been a bit off mentally-speaking for as long as I can remember, if I'm honest. I remember in year 7 I hung out with some pretty messed-up older kids who mostly had issues with self-harm; they never encouraged it at all, but I've never quite felt like I fit with people, and that was the closest way I could feel like one of them so I started. And there was other stuff going on; I was bullied and I think I kind of bullied other people in turn (and felt cripplingly guilty about it, which exacerbated me feeling like hell), had to move halfway across the country to live with a stepdad who ended up being a bit mental himself (he ran off eventually and left us with a half-built house and no child support for his disabled daughter, my younger sister), had a bit of a distant and turbulent relationship with the rest of my family. Not the worst things that have ever happened to anyone, but it all added up. I had an off and on problem with self-harm ever since (note: I DO NOT CONDONE THIS. it is not a helpful coping method and if you are having thoughts or acting on them with regard to self-harm/suicide then please seek help, it does not make anything easier in the long run), and a mostly-on problem with depression. Terrible insomnia, anxiety, all the fun side-problems.

    I went to college and my social anxiety went through the goddamn roof. I'm clever enough but was always a bad student, and had too many bad memories of people at school. I guess I wanted to start again, but it was way too much all at once. I've always been like that; something goes wrong, I just want to get rid of it and start completely new instead of trying to fix it. I used to sit in the bus stop in the middle of winter, just spend like four hours there in the snow, because every time the bus passed me even the thought of talking to the driver was too much for me, never mind going to college. I ended up studying year 12 from home. And it messed me up; even when I transferred back to sixth form for year 13, had a long-term boyfriend, met my best friend, I still just felt weird and like I was existing in this separate world, like everyone could see I was 'wrong'.

    Sometimes I think the slightly misdirected teenage poet in me kind of enjoyed it. Or at least enjoyed the image of it, because I was genuinely miserable; I didn't know how to be fun and exciting and the life and soul, but people are kind of drawn to sarcastic and sad if you're eloquent enough about it, so that would have to do.

    Depression is kind of like an abusive relationship. You can see that it's not good for you; you think of all the things you could be doing if you weren't trapped there, but you're scared to leave it, so you keep going back to it because you forget how to be anything without it. Thats part of the disease; it doesnt want to let you go, so it makes you think you arent worth anything better. And other people who havent experienced it don't get it. They can see its hurting you, and especially if you've started to improve and have a bit of a relapse, they don't see why you dont just...yknow, stop? If you're sad, think positive, keep yourself busy, and if you won't or don't or can't, you must be flawed as a person. Or not trying hard enough. But the truth is that the idea of trying to get free is scary, because its easier to just stay at the bottom than face the idea that you might try your hardest and still fail. And the people who havent dealt with it dont understand, and maybe are a little scared and dont want to understand, because if it doesn't just happen to people who are weak and damaged and different then maybe one day it will happen to them too, without them even realising it until its there.

    I went to Leeds Uni afer a gap year and made some friends in halls, but still felt like I was wrong and broken and weird, and found that I couldnt make myself attend lectures. Dropped out at the end of first year, stayed in Leeds, had and lost a couple of jobs, laid about feeling scared and sad and sorry for myself.

    I didn't help my situation, I will freely admit that. But I didnt think it could be helped. Didn't eat, didn't sleep, smoked way too much weed (do not condone this as a coping method either) all of which made it a lot worse. Couldnt look after myself at all.

    Went on antidepressants a few months before dropping out. If you haven't seen a doctor yet but plan to, please make sure you discuss at length whether you think antidepressants are for you. It's different for everyone, so you need to think about it and if you do, keep a close eye on how they are affecting you - write down your moods and your side effects so you can see properly how things are progressing, because your memory isnt always reliable for this kind of thing. I have a friend with depression who is on citalopram and its doing wonders, but I went through amitriptyline (mostly for the insomnia), sertraline, fluoxetine, citalopram and venlafaxine and all of them just made things a different kind of bad. The fluoxetine (prozac) is what sent me off when I overdosed on a stockpile of old meds last easter (I'd spent two weeks completely by myself, which didnt help), the venlafaxine nearly did the same this December, but I ended up calling the out-of-hours before I did it again, got in touch with the community mental health team, so now I get home visits every week and a fairly comprehensive plan of what I need to do week to week to survive. I've been slowly doing better since then, got a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (having a proper diagnosis by a mental health professional made a big difference for me, because even though some people dont believe in personality disorders I dont give half a damn about them, it made my condition make sense to me, and often with GPs they simply dont have the time or the training to do much other than throw meds at you)

    i think I always expected a sudden moment of epiphany that would kickstart a sudden upward swing and then everything would be fine forever. That's a dangerous way to think of it, because that way, every bad day suddenly becomes a relapse. It was more a slow realisation that even with how crazy and out of it I've been, I've still never been completely alone - even when I only had a couple of internet friends, there are people who can see the bits of me that are worth knowing. And they stuck with me, and that meant that I had to return the favour and be as present in their lives as they are in mine - so no dying before them, because what if they need that kind of support and I'm not there to give it to them? And it was also about getting stuck thinking about myself all the time, which was unintentional but true - if someones telling you something and you're sat there thinking 'man do I look like I'm listening properly, do they think I'm not paying attention and hate me for it' or whatever other anxiety is preoccupying, then you actually arent listening properly, so why should anyone listen to you? So I need to do stuff thats outside my own head, and that helps.

    It's not that my life has got suddenly better since being diagnosed or coming off meds (though that was a relief). But there are small things that I can recognise now; like I dont overdo it on drink or drugs, try and eat two meals a day, quit smoking. In October I'm doing an open university course, after I've started dialectical behaviour therapy for a couple months. Going back to uni in 2014, so I have time to get myself ready to be there and not get overwhelmed. In the same way that becoming depressed was a slow buildup of things, getting better is also a slow build. Its difficult, because a quick fix would be brilliant, but there isnt one, and it means you have to put in a lot of work that you may feel like you arent capable of.

    Remember that youre starting from a different level. And that might make you feel like crap because 'why can other people do these things so easily when its so hard for me', little things like showering and getting dressed that seem monumental. But it isnt your fault. And the fact that you might find these things harder than other people but still push yourself to do them, that means you are strong, because being strong isnt about coasting through on the easiest path, its about doing things that you know will improve your life even when its tough. Even if you only do one thing in a day, like getting out of bed just to go lie on the sofa instead, remind yourself that all the tiny stuff adds up. Then try and do a little bit more the next day, and if you do, feel proud of yourself (write it down so you know youve done it once and you can do it again), and if you dont, never mind, try again tomorrow.

    You won't suddenly wake up and realise you're never going to be sad again ever. Recovery wont be constant happiness. Even non-depressed people get sad. But you'll wake up one day and it will be raining and nobody will want to hang out and everything in your house will break and you'll owe the landlord money, and you'll think 'well, i can deal with this.'

    Thats when you know you've really hit recovery. And it's freakin' amazing, and you can get there.

    (I mean, this is all based on my experience, and things might be different for you in how you feel and what you do. But even the fact that you posted this because you want to keep going, thats a step that you should be proud of. Wanting it is the first major milestone! And if you ever want someone to talk to feel free to PM me. Sometimes its easier to talk to a complete stranger than somebody you know.)
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    that was longer than i intended it to be.
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    (Original post by sophiasunshine)
    that was longer than i intended it to be.
    Your post was an eye-opener and made me realise/remember that it's the little things that can help make the path to recovery/feeling happier within yourself seem bright. It won't change over night but I thank you for that with a rep I wish you all the best.
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    (Original post by IDukem)
    Your post was an eye-opener and made me realise/remember that it's the little things that can help make the path to recovery/feeling happier within yourself seem bright. It won't change over night but I thank you for that with a rep I wish you all the best.
    Aw, thanks! I'm glad it helped a little. I do feel like my being so ill isn't a wholly negative thing if it means that I can talk to other people who feel that way about it; it always helps to not feel alone.

    Good luck with learning how to kick the universe's ass! You'll get there with time. And hey, remember that people like Batman more than Superman for a reason; its a lot more impressive working up from a disadvantage than if you're just born perfect.

    (if you like Superman more, you're wrong and there is no hope for you )
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    (Original post by sophiasunshine)
    Aw, thanks! I'm glad it helped a little. I do feel like my being so ill isn't a wholly negative thing if it means that I can talk to other people who feel that way about it; it always helps to not feel alone.

    Good luck with learning how to kick the universe's ass! You'll get there with time. And hey, remember that people like Batman more than Superman for a reason; its a lot more impressive working up from a disadvantage than if you're just born perfect.

    (if you like Superman more, you're wrong and there is no hope for you )
    It's kind of what I want to do too. When I get to a certain point where i can help/relate to other people and try and help them avoid or get through the mental pain they're headed in or if they're in it Like I said, thank you

    Yeah in time and that's an ace analogy!! I never thought of it like that...I guess now I should

    I prefer Batman over superman
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    (Original post by IDukem)
    It's kind of what I want to do too. When I get to a certain point where i can help/relate to other people and try and help them avoid or get through the mental pain they're headed in or if they're in it Like I said, thank you

    Yeah in time and that's an ace analogy!! I never thought of it like that...I guess now I should

    I prefer Batman over superman
    You'd be surprised how much confidence you gain just by repeating "I am the goddamn Batman' to yourself a couple of times before you go out in the morning Though personally I'd pick the Flash over either of them, but he was no use in this metaphor.
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    (Original post by sophiasunshine)
    You'd be surprised how much confidence you gain just by repeating "I am the goddamn Batman' to yourself a couple of times before you go out in the morning Though personally I'd pick the Flash over either of them, but he was no use in this metaphor.
    I'll try it in future...go nothing to lose plus it adds humour I prefer spider-man thanks to the animated series in the 1990s
 
 
 
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